In the aftermath of the brutal clearing of Gezi Park and the adjacent areas in the early hours of 16 June, along with the turnout of supporters for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan`s rally in a different part of Istanbul on 17 June, it is important to understand the political, economic, and social roots of the protest movement in Turkey as well as the Justice and Development Party`s (AKP) base of support. The following is an audio recording of a teach-in that was organized on Wednesday 12 June 2013. The event featured Asli Bali, Edhem Eldem, Timur Hammond, and Kate Elizabeth Kreasy, and was moderated by Ceren Abi.
Some of the questions addressed in the teach-in include: What explains the initial protests in Gezi Park? How is this localized conflict around the redesign of Taksim Square related to broader grievences as pertains to the ruling AKP`s policies more generally? What explains the immediate resort to violence on the part of the government, and the protestors defiance in the face of the level of repression unleashed by the government? What is the political economy of the social bases and startegic calculations of both the protest movement and the ruling AKP? What cleavages exist within the protest movement, and what fissures exist within the ruling AKP that might lead to a reallignment of political forces as pertains to the current confrontations?
The teach-in was sponsored by the Center for Near Eastern Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), who also made the audio recording available. What follows below, preceding the audio recording, is an outline of the event (with time stamps).
What Is Hapening in Turkey: A UCLA Teach-In
Introduction (First 1 minute and 33 seconds)
Ceren Abi, Doctoral Student in Department of History at UCLA
Asli Bali (From 1 min. and 33 sec. mark, through 16 min. and 42 sec. mark)
Turkey Page Co-Editor at Jadaliyya, and Professor at UCLA Law School
Edhem Eldem (From 16 min. and 43 sec. mark, through 28 min. and 37 sec. mark)
Professor in Department of History at Bogazici Universty
Additional Commentary (39 min. and onwards)
Timur Hammond (Doctoral Student, Department of Geography, UCLA)
Kate Elizabeth (Doctoral Student, Department of History, UCLA)
Edhem Eldem (Professor, Department of History, Bogazici Universty)